Here’s the scenario: You’ve just moved into a new apartment and you’re super excited about living with a couple of good friends (and of course being able to split the bill for that huge DirecTV package you just had to have). However, a few weeks after the big move, one of your roommates turns into your mother, always wanting you to do things around the apartment, hang out with them, and make sure you’re available 24/7 for whatever crisis comes their way.

This happens in countless living situations, and while there’s not just one right way to handle it, there are wrong ways.

Ignorance is Not Bliss

Ignoring a roommate in hopes that problems will vanish is definitely not the path you want to take. Ignoring someone only makes them want the attention even more. You’ve heard it time and time again, but open communication is key. You want to have your own life outside of the apartment, but perhaps your roommate is having a hard time making friends in a new place. Including them in some (but definitely not all) of your activities outside of work or school may help them learn to branch out and engage with others, leading to a much happier home life.

Don’t Just Give In

If you answer “yes” to 99 percent of questions your roommate asks, then you may not be maximizing your living situation. It’s nice to hang out with roommates on occasion (I mean, you’re living with them so you’re going to see them quite a bit), but don’t make that the priority at the expense of other friendships.

Essentially, you don’t have meet up with your roommate at the local coffee shop every day after work or class. However, maybe once a week is something more manageable. Talk with your roommate about how you need more “me” time and want to be able to see other friends.

Make the Best of It

Having roommates is a positive thing, and it’s great to have friends around 24/7 when you want to chill, vent, or grab a quick bite to eat. However, it’s not something you want to take advantage of, or your current roommates may be your last. Be straightforward, talk things out, and enjoy it!